a lawyer in turmoil - THECHOWANIECS.COM

a lawyer in turmoil

Justice will decide, next April, if the facts of violation of the secrecy of the instruction reproached to a lawyer are proven. If necessary, his criminal responsibility will be engaged. She faces up to a year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros. Explanations…

While advising a man involved in a fatal brawl that occurred in June 2020 in an apartment on rue Kellermann, in the Sablon district of Metz, a lawyer from Metz is suspected of having revealed information on the case. to another defendant who was then on the run. The investigation is then entrusted to the Messina branch of the judicial police to trace the thread of this dramatic evening during which Romain Schlick, aged 20, died under the violent blows of several individuals while he was quietly ending the evening with friends in an apartment.

The investigators quickly realize that there are leaks in this file where several individuals, some of whom are notoriously known, will be arrested, with the assistance of the Raid, in the Messina agglomeration at the end of August 2020. Telephone tapping will come corroborate their suspicions.

Disorientated affair in Briey

In the spring of 2021, the investigators of the judicial police informed Christian Mercuri, then public prosecutor, of their suspicions. The council is summoned, a few months later, to the judicial police of Metz to be heard. Justice decides to pursue the facts and to disorient the file.

It is before the judicial court of Briey, on April 11, that the lawyer will have to answer for “violation of professional secrecy”. Indeed, article 226-13 of the Penal Code provides that “the disclosure of information of a secret nature by a person who is the custodian of it, either by status or by profession, or because of a function or temporary mission, is punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros”.

“The same rights as the litigant”

Contacted by us, Antoine Fittante, President of the Bar in Metz, explains that he has received “no official notification to date”. “A lawyer, if he does not have more rights than a litigant, does not have less for all that. And he is entitled to fundamental respect for the presumption of innocence. When a lawyer is implicated in criminal proceedings, you have to wait for the final decision after which everyone will take their responsibilities. If things have to be done, they are done on time and in the order in which they must be done. Once the lawyer has been criminally and finally judged, the question arises of referral to the disciplinary body for which there is no prescription.

And the President of the Bar to conclude: “We must also remember that, every day, within the framework of the permanence, colleagues ensure the role of sentinel and lookout for the defense of freedoms. Many of them, on a daily basis, walk through the courtrooms.


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